Metro Transit has cancelled service on the Northstar commuter rail line Friday after an early-morning freight train derailment blocked tracks between Big Lake and Ramsey.

About 16 empty freight cars jumped the tracks in Elk River around 2:15 a.m. blocking the tracks, said BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth.

Crews on Friday will be working to clear the tracks and make repairs. It was not immediately clear how long that would take, she said.

No one was injured, McBeth said.

Metro Transit will offer replacement limited bus service from Elk River, Ramsey, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley, but riders are being advised to drive or find other means of transportation, said Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland.

Buses do not have as much capacity as trains, and trips will take significantly longer and will not run on a regular schedule, he said.

Link buses from St. Cloud will transport customers from Big Lake to Elk River where customers can catch Metro Transit buses.

Transit and Burlington Northern Santa Fe personnel will be at station platforms to notify customers that train service has been stopped and answer questions.

A decision on weekend service will be made this afternoon, Siqveland said.

In the meantime,freight trains are being rerouted where possible, McBeth said.

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